FF Studs & Duds, Week 14


The FF playoffs started this week for most leagues as we watched what happened on the field determine the fate of our teams. Here are the studs and duds for the first week of the FF playoffs followed by a recipe for Brisket Braised in Porter that you can serve at your holiday party this year.





It was a good week to start:


Adrian Peterson

AP rushed 31 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns and added two receptions for 16 yards to lead the Vikings to a 21-14 victory over the Bears in Week 14. Peterson set up his own 1-yard score with a 51-yard run on the opening drive. He got another easy touchdown a few minutes later when Josh Robinson’s pick-six was ruled out at the 5-yard line. Even with the Bears stacking nine in the box, Peterson joined LaDainian Tomlinson as the only backs in NFL history with 10+ touchdowns in each of their first six seasons.


Cam Newton

Cameron Jerrell completed 23-of-35 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 116 rushing yards and another touchdown, against the Falcons in Week 14.
Newton nearly played mistake free football while generating big gains when they were needed most. On his 72-yard running score, Newton kept the football on a read option and benefited from some excellent downfield blocks by Steve Smith.


David Wilson

David Wilson rushed 13 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns in New York’s Week 14 rout of the Saints, adding another score and an eye-popping 227 yards on four kick returns. Wilson’s 327 all-purpose yards are a new Giants record. Wilson scorched the Saints on special teams, averaging an absurd 56.8 yards on his four returns. He took a first-quarter kick 97 yards to the house for the G-Men’s first TD in an eventual 52-27 victory. Wilson’s increased role on offense came thanks to an Ahmad Bradshaw knee injury, which had the Giants’ lead back shuttling in and out of the game as the G-Men built up an insurmountable lead. Wilson’s first score on offense came as he cashed in a six-yard red-zone carry in the third, while his second came on a 52-yard home run one quarter later. Wilson swept out left before exploding through the hole to the end zone. He probably did all this on your leagues waiver wire.


Tom Brady

Tommy Boy completed 21-of-35 passes for 296 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions in Monday night’s blowout Week 14, 42-14 win over the Texans.
Brady and the Patriots came out firing on all cylinders right out of the gate. New England found the end zone on their first three possessions and jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead to essentially end the game just as quickly as it started.


Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn rushed 11 times for 128 yards with three touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 58-0 Week 14 win over the Cardinals. Not bad stats for your team.


Mike Wallace

60 minutes caught seven passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ Week 14 loss to the Chargers. He led the team with 11 targets Sunday but did have a crucial drop early in the game that set the tone.


Other Players that had nice weeks…

Nick Foles,Marshawn Lynch,Eli Manning,Ben Roethlisberger,Brandon Marshall,Philip Rivers,Knowshon Moreno,Brandon Lloyd,Danario Alexander,Matt Ryan,Darren Sproles,Jamaal Charles,Roddy White,Victor Cruz,Vincent Jackson,Aaron Hernandez,Anquan Boldin,Ray Rice,Jeremy Maclin


It was a bad week to play…


CJ Spiller

We expected far more than seven rushing attempts for 37 yards and a single reception for fifteen yards. This time, however, Fred Jackson, wasn’t the reason Spiller received such little work. Spiller is far too talented not to play but he’s quickly proving to more of a flex talent with a high ceiling than an every-week advantage. And with Seattle and Miami up next over the next two weeks, the running lanes aren’t going to be any wider.


Aaron Rodgers

Discount Double Check completed 14-of-24 passes for just 173 yards, zero passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in Green Bay’s 27-20 Week 14 win over the Lions, though he added three rushes for 32 yards and a touchdown. Circumstance limited Rodgers’ statistical output on a snowy evening at Lambeau Field, as the Packers possessed the ball for just 22:46, and went to great lengths to establish the run on the rare occasions they did have the rock. However, Rodgers salvaged his night from a fantasy perspective by scrambling 27 yards for a score on Green Bay’s opening drive of the second half


A.J. Green

Green caught 3-of-8 targets for 44 yards in the Bengals’ Week 14 loss to the Cowboys. Green let a surefire red-zone touchdown slip through his hands on a quick slant and was otherwise neutralized by an aggressive Cowboys pass defense that limited Andy Dalton to just over 200 passing yards. A.J. dropped multiple passes, including one that would’ve gone for a long TD. Normally sure-handed, he picked the wrong time to submit his most boneheaded game of the season.


Larry Fitzgerald

Fitzy caught one of 11 targets giving his team’s fits.


Antonio Gates

“Mr. Clutch” was anything such as he was held to three catches for 31 yards. Gates’ latest dud wasn’t due to a lack of trying. He was a major part of the gameplan early and ended up with eight targets, but dropped a deep ball on a flag route up the sideline and couldn’t separate from Lawrence Timmons over the middle. Gates hasn’t scored in any of his last four games and hasn’t topped 57 yards since Week 6.


Ahmad Bradshaw

Playing through a knee injury, he rushed 11 times for just 33 yards in New York’s Week 14 win over the Saints. He was held without a catch. Bradshaw missed over a quarter of action in the first half, and shuttled in and out of the game after returning mid-way through the second quarter.


Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson rushed for just 44 yards on 19 carries in Tennessee’s Week 14 loss to the Colts. The effects of four offensive line starters being on injured reserve showed this week. Right tackle Dave Stewart and left guard Steve Hutchinson, arguably the team’s two best offensive linemen were lost for the season this week. There were just no holes to run through. After rushing for just 95 yards on 32 carries over the past two weeks, Johnson will look to right himself against the Jets


Torrey Smith

The crybaby was held to 21 yards on one reception versus the Redskins in Week 14. He was targeted three times on Joe Flacco’s 21 attempts. Smith’s biggest impact came via a downfield block on Ray Rice’s 46-yard run and a slant-and-go route that allowed Flacco to pump fake Anquan Boldin open for a 31-yard score. The opportunity was there for Smith to do more damage, but the Ravens didn’t call his number.


Bryce Brown

BB played on 50-of-76 offensive snaps in Sunday’s comeback win over the Bucs. Facing the league’s No. 1 run defense, Brown ended up with just 12 rushing yards on six carries and two catches for six yards. He also ceded the majority of fourth-quarter snaps to backup Dion Lewis.


Other players that did nothing for your team…

Jermichael Finley, Brandon Myers, Vernon Davis, Kyle Rudolph, Greg Jennings, Lance Moore, James Jones, Fred Jackson, Mikel Leshoure, Sidney Rice.





Brisket Braised in Porter


The brisket tastes best if prepared ahead, so make it at least one day and up to two days before you plan to serve it. Chilling the brisket makes it easier to slice. Rewarm the meat in the sauce and serve with a full-flavored dark beer.



1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 6-pound flat-cut brisket, trimmed but with some fat still attached
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat or olive oil
4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth, divided
1 12-ounce bottle Guinness
6 whole pitted prunes
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
6 cups thinly sliced onions (2 1/2 pounds)
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 pound medium carrots, peeled, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (or more) malt vinegar



Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Rub herb mixture all over brisket. Heat bacon fat in heavy extra-large wide ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add brisket to pot and cook until deep brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer brisket to platter or rimmed baking sheet. Add 2 cups broth to pot and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Stir in Guinness, prunes, bay leaves, and brown sugar; bring to boil. Return brisket to pot, fat side down; scatter onion slices over to cover meat, then add garlic.

Cover pot; place in oven and braise brisket 1 hour. Remove pot from oven; uncover and turn brisket over so that onion slices fall into liquid in pot. Return pot to oven and braise uncovered 30 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Cover and bake 1 hour 30 minutes longer.
Transfer brisket to platter or rimmed baking sheet; add 1 more cup broth to liquid in pot, then add mushrooms and carrots. Return brisket to pot. Cover and return to oven; braise until meat and carrots are very tender, adding more broth by cupfuls, if needed, to cover vegetables, about 45 minutes longer. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon off any fat from surface of brisket pan juices and discard. Transfer brisket to cutting board. Thinly slice brisket across grain. Place brisket slices in large roasting pan. Bring pan juices with vegetables in pot to boil. Whisk in mustard and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more vinegar by teaspoonfuls, if desired. Pour pan juices and vegetables over brisket in roasting pan. Cover roasting pan tightly with heavy-duty foil and cook in oven until brisket slices and vegetables are heated through, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve meat with vegetables and sauce.



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